WHERE THE JOBS ARE

May 1, 2015


The following data was taken from a survey done by nerdwallet.com:  Best Places for Engineers, 23 February 2015.

If you follow my postings you know I primarily concentrate on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professions. I track the job market relative to job availability and salary rates over the country and the world.  An online publication called NerdWallet recently published a very informative article on job availability for engineers.  Here is the methodology used to provide the results.

Methodology:

The overall score for each of the metro areas was calculated using the following measures:

  1. Engineers per 1,000 total jobs (50% of each overall score). Data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2013 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.
  1. Annual mean wage for engineering jobs (25% of each overall score). Data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2013 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.
  1. Median gross rent for each place (25% of each overall score). Data is from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

This study analyzed 350 of the largest metro areas in the U.S.

The following engineering fields, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were used to compound the data: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware, electrical, electronics, environmental, health and safety engineers, industrial, marine engineers and naval architects, materials, mechanical, mining and geological engineers and all other engineers.  This list just about covers the “waterfront” as far as working-class engineers.  Let’s take a look at the results.

List 1-10

List 11-20

In looking at the list above, we can make the following observations:

  • Eleven of the top twenty cities and areas are in the South. The list includes the following southern cities:
  1. Huntsville, Alabama

With a NASA flight center and an Army arsenal, Huntsville is nicknamed “The Rocket City” for good reason. Engineers make up 6% of its employed population and make nearly $103,000 a year, which is higher than the national mean. Median rent is the second lowest in our top 10, at around $725 a month. Huntsville, a northern Alabama city near the Tennessee border, is a hub for aerospace engineers.

  1. Warner Robins, Georgia

Drive 90 minutes south of Atlanta and you’ll hit Warner Robins, where nearly 4% of the working world is in engineering. Here you’ll find the Robins Air Force Base, which employees more than 25,000 people, and the Museum of Aviation, the second-largest museum in the nation’s Air Force. However, engineers in this area earn the lowest salary of our top 10, around $86,000 a year, which is lower than the national mean.

  1. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida

Aside from ocean views, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area offers career opportunities for engineers, who make up about 3% of the employed population, earn almost $94,000 a year and pay around $876 in rent. Harris Corp., a worldwide telecommunications company, and Intersil Corp., a semiconductor manufacturer, are headquartered in the area, employing thousands.

  1. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas

In the Lone Star State’s most populated area, engineers earn their livelihood in the energy sector at companies including Phillips 66, Marathon Oil and Kinder Morgan. Engineers in this area make a mean salary of almost $123,000, which is the second highest in our top 20. This area also made our top 10 list of Best Places for STEM Graduates.

  1. Midland, Texas

As the saying goes, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” including the engineering sector. Engineers here take home the largest salary of our top 20 — about $141,000 a year. Midland, with key industries including aerospace, oil and gas, has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, 2.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  1. Decatur, Alabama

Just 25 miles west of our list’s leading place, Decatur engineers have access to many opportunities in Huntsville. But Decatur itself is home to a United Launch Alliance facility, where spacecraft launch equipment is manufactured. Engineers make up about 2% of Decatur’s workforce, making it the smallest engineering industry in our top 10. However, it still has more engineers per 1,000 employees than the national average.

  • All 20 locations have larger engineering industries than the national average of twelve (12) engineers for every 1,000 employees.
  • Engineers in thirteen (13) of the top twenty (20) places earn more than the national mean engineering salary, which is $92,170.
  •  Fourteen (14) locations have lower median rent than the average U.S. metro area, which is $905 a month.
  • A great deal of employment results from proximity to universities and military-industrial complexes although the “oil patch” certainly draws a great number of individuals in STEM professions.
  • There is a significant absence from areas of the northeast and the “rust belt”; i.e. the northern and mid-western states.

I also think certain factors such as lower taxes; less congestion during commute, milder climate, and lower cost of living contribute to overall reasons for companies locating in southern areas.

I hope you enjoyed this one. I will make every effort to keep this list current.  As always, I appreciate your comments.  Keep them coming.

Advertisements

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: